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What does it take for a small business to scale?  An infusion of money?  A stream of innovations?  A big growth spurt? Research and consulting firm TrueSpace and Gallup have issued a new report that identifies the operating conditions that foster sustainable growth among post-startup companies.  The research shows growth-minded small businesses should narrow their […]

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Over 15 years have passed since Harvard Business School professor and innovation expert Clay Christensen introduced the “jobs to be done” theory of innovation but his insights remain timely, relevant, and instructive.  By seeking to understand what customers are trying to do in a given circumstance — what they hope to accomplish — companies can […]

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In this era of unicorns and hot IPOs, it’s easy to get caught up in the stories of start-up successes.   But start-up failures are far more common.  The folks at CB Insights found that 70% of upstart tech companies fail.  And consumer hardware startups fail even more frequently, with 97% ultimately dying or becoming “zombies.”  […]

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Apple announced it is moving into services — Netflix-type services, curating and streaming content.  It’s a pretty big shift for a company that’s been primarily in hardware and software.  If any company CAN make the shift, it’s Apple — but I wonder if it SHOULD.  Will the core of the Apple brand be eroded in […]

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A couple of years ago, Gartner predicted that by 2019, more than 50% of organizations will redirect their investments to customer experience (CX) innovation.  But even if you prioritize CX innovation, you might not know how to actually do it. You might try to innovate in CX by developing new digital capabilities or testing new technologies.  […]

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As 2019 begins, it’s time to reclaim marketing as a key driver of business.  Management guru Peter Drucker once said, “Because its purpose is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two — and only these two — basic functions: marketing and innovation.” Clearly most business leaders embrace innovation as the lifeblood of their […]

Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the past few years, you haven’t missed how dramatically the retail industry and shopping has changed.  But with so much change, it’s sometimes hard to tell the forest for the trees.  Thankfully the folks at RetailNext have identified five retail trends that you can’t afford to miss. […]

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Success today comes from not only knowing who your customers are, but also why they buy.  It’s not enough to know your customers’ demographics (e.g., adults aged18-54) and category behaviors (what they currently buy, what products/brands they use).  Even knowing your customers’  economic value (e.g., customers who spend $500+ in our category, companies that have […]

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If three makes a trend, then lately I’ve noted a new trend in strategic thinking.  It involves the discipline to ask different questions to get different results — and not just different results — better, clearer, more sustainable results.  I came across the idea to ask different questions to get different results from three different […]